Mar. 23, 2020
Mar. 23, 2020
While in college, I was a paraprofessional for the elementary school I attended when I was younger. I was still trying to figure out the whole, “what do I want to be when I grow up” aspect, and wanted to find answers. I always had teaching in the back of my mind growing up, but was unsure I could handle it all. Teachers had so much on their plate, from students to parents to curriculum to grades and mountains of lessons and paperwork.
As a paraprofessional, I had a small handful of responsibilities I had to do, and sometimes at the end of the day, I left wanting more. I wanted to make a bigger impact. I wanted to have a classroom that I could decorate on my own and have my students excited to learn. I wanted to be that teacher who people could trust. I remember asking myself, could I really have a classroom of my own?
Could I handle everything that a teacher does throughout the course of the day? Should I take a leap in making a significant impact in the world?
These were all questions that went through my mind as I searched for the answer to whether or not I should pursue my passion.
Get a sneak peak
While I was a paraprofessional I was able to work in a variety of different classrooms, grade levels and even one-on-one with a student for an extended period of time. It was during this time I found the answers to my questions and was able to “try” teaching before committing to the profession. As I look back on this experience, I realize how not many teachers start off as paraprofessionals. I was lucky enough to spend time in the classroom and witness firsthand what goes on behind the scenes.
Before even committing to the profession, I was able to see if it was a fit for me. I was able to ask teachers how they liked teaching, what their background was and any other question that came to mind.
Without starting as a paraprofessional, I don’t know if I would have still chosen to be a teacher. My doubts or fears could have gotten in the way.
Take the leap
At the beginning of each school year, I often reflect on the path that I took to get me where I am today. My years as a paraeducator molded me into the type of teacher I am today.
By working in a variety of classrooms, I was able to witness different teaching styles, lessons, classroom management tidbits, professional development and so much more.
I walked into my teaching program with an upper hand because I was already in the classroom more than anyone else in the program. I was able to draw on my experiences and use them as a foundation as I started my teaching career.
If you are in the shoes I was in, please take a moment and reflect on why you are in the educational profession. Do you want to make a significant impact on the community around you? Do you see yourself as a teacher with your own classroom full of students eagerly awaiting to learn new things from you? Should you take a leap in making a significant impact in the world?
If any of those answers are yes, take a look into becoming a teacher.
You have the opportunity to earn your teacher certification to advance your career and help fill critical job openings. You have the opportunity to enter a whole new level of the educational profession where the impact is endless and extremely rewarding.